I LOVE pizza! And I used to be really intimidated by the thought of making my own pizza at home. Even if I thought of doing it at home, I would by a pre-made crust or a crust mix and I always bought a pre-made sauce. I enjoyed the results when I made a pizza at home, even doing it with pre-packaged mixes and sauces, but I still had that feeling of disconnection and intimidation. I usually just ordered a pizza or bought frozen. All that had to change when I had to go gluten free several years ago for health reasons. It was either go without pizza (NOT!) or learn how to do it at home inexpensively (which means without the gluten free pre-packaged mixes!) I am glad I learned how to get past my fears, because, like most things I have discovered in the kitchen, once I looked beneath the mystery, it was not hard to do at all! I only had to trust myself! Here is a pizza sauce and crust I have developed since then. I love how easy they are and how there is room for flexibility.
Start with the pizza sauce. I get this going an let it simmer while I start the pizza dough. Works out perfectly. The sauce can also be made up in big batches and then frozen in individual containers for later use, if you want to double or triple the recipe.
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion or 1/2 medium onion, chopped (use the other half for pizza toppings!)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small stalk celery, diced
15 oz. can tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (optional)
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon fennel powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar, honey or pure maple syrup (grade B works best)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
Melt butter or margarine with olive oil in pan. Add chopped onion and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent (about 3 minutes). Add all other ingredients, stir. Simmer on low heat for at least a half hour, up to one whole hour. Remove bay leaf and it’s ready to use!
While this is simmering, start the pizza dough. You can have it finished and on the pan ready to bake by the time the sauce is ready.
Seasoned Pizza Crust
3 c. flour (1 c. brown rice, 1 cup millet, 1 cup sorghum)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using regular flour or a gluten free blend containing xantan gum)
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoons sugar, plus 2 Tablespoons more
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon yeast
3/4 cup warm water, plus 3/4 cup more (@ 110 degrees, or what feels comfortable to the inside of your wrist)
1 egg (can substitute flax egg mixture–see below–or leave egg out for a thinner, drier crust)*
*Flax egg mixture to substitute for egg–1 Tablespoon flax meal mixed with 2 Tablespoons warm water in a small bowl. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then use as you would an egg. Works in many recipes.
Pour 3/4 cup water in a small bowl and stir in 1 Tablespoon yeast. Let sit for a couple minutes, then add 1 Tablespoon sugar.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salt, 2 Tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum (if using gluten free flour), basil, oregano and garlic powder. Mix well.
In a measuring cup, measure 3/4 cup warm water and add 1 Tablespoon olive oil and 1 egg. Beat with a fork until well blended. Add yeast, sugar and water mixture and stir. Then add to the flour mixture and mix well.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put the bowl of dough on top of the stove where it will get some of the warmth of the oven (not where it will cover the oven’s heat exhaust!) and let it rise for about 10 minutes. This is a good time to get some toppings ready, shred cheese, prepare your pan, etc.
Grease two pizza pans or one large cookie sheet. When your dough is done rising, then sauce should be about done simmering, so turn that off. Dump the dough onto the cookie sheet and dust it and your hands with a little flour, then mash it evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake it without toppings for about 15-20 minutes until it begins to turn golden brown. Finish chopping toppings while it bakes. Sliced tomato, mushrooms, chopped onion, some fresh or frozen spinach, even broccoli is really good! Use your imagination!
When the crust comes out of the oven, put your sauce and toppings on, then bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly. Slice and enjoy!